Monday, October 3, 2022
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The UN sees signs of detente in the eastern crisis

Blas de Lezo frigate, setting sail for the Mediterranean. / EFE/Video: Atlas.

Russian and British defense ministers decide to meet to address the conflict on the Ukraine border


The Geneva summit between the heads of US and Russian diplomacy, Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavtov, seems to have slightly eased the tension in the new ‘cold war’ in the east. The fact that the two envoys agreed on Friday to continue along the path of dialogue when the international community expected the opposite, a total rupture of the deck and the advent of a quasi-war scenario, gave hope to the UN on Saturday that “there will be no occurs» a Russian invasion in Ukraine, according to its secretary general, Antònio Guterres.

The feeling that the negotiation can prevail over arms was also increased by the surprise announcement by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, that he had accepted an invitation to meet shortly with his British counterpart, Ben Wallace. Sources from the British Ministry of Defense indicated, for their part, that the meeting will allow them to analyze the crisis on the Ukrainian border. “The Secretary of Defense is pleased that Russia has accepted the invitation to speak with his counterpart,” he added. The last bilateral meeting between the two countries dates back to 2013 in London.

Blinken undertook in Geneva to respond in writing to the Russian Government about its demands in the east; especially that NATO withdraw from Romania and Bulgaria and not set up bases in former Soviet republics like Ukraine. The head of US diplomacy and his counterpart will meet again in the near future. Analysts from various media weighed this Saturday that this “frank and useful” conversation between the representatives of both powers and the opening of Russia and the West to hold other meetings, such as the planned Russian-British one, could mark the beginning of a new stage in the somewhat more flexible and less warmongering negotiations.

In fact, the UK government has announced that it is willing to explore “all avenues to achieve stability and resolve the Ukrainian crisis.” Although it is also true that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liz Truss, warned Moscow on Friday that it runs the risk of being involved in a “terrible quagmire” if it decides to invade the neighboring country.

In any case, the swords are still high by all the actors. The United States and Canada already have a catalog of sanctions against Russia for “immediate” application in the event of an absolute failure of the diplomatic channel. The European Union is also preparing its own. The pretense of discussing them this Monday during an extraordinary meeting of the Council indicates that Brussels maintains distrust and total vigilance against the Kremlin.

And in Ukraine the guard is not lowered either. While hundreds of citizens celebrated the ‘Day of Unity’ with a march yesterday, the Kiev airport received the first shipment of 90 tons of weapons and ammunition provided by the United States. The game is part of an aid that the White House approved in December, at a particularly tense moment in the crisis, and which was released this week by Blinken.

Germany has also agreed to send a field hospital, but not weapons. The refusal has aroused the discomfort of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who in some ill-advised statements accused Berlin of “undermining unity” and “encouraging Vladimir Putin.”


Vladimir Putin, White House, UN, NATO, European Union (EU), European Union, United States, Moscow, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Crisis in Ukraine


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